SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school financial literacy instruction required to be offered; K-12 financial literacy standards
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
The state of Washington does not have any specific financial literacy high school graduation requirements. 2015 Vermont Chapter 211 (Senate Bill 5202) requires that “school districts shall provide all students in grades nine through twelve the opportunity to access the financial education standards.” It lists a variety of ways in which schools may offer the financial literacy instruction, including optional opportunities and a course for high school graduation credit, leaving the implementation to the discretion of local school districts.
Washington has Financial Education Washington State Learning Standards which are based on the Jump$tart National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education and the Council for Economic Education National Standards for Financial Literacy. There are six financial literacy competencies with specific grade level standards and benchmarks for Grades K-12. 2015 Washington Chapter 211 (Senate Bill 5202) also requires that “the superintendent shall integrate financial education skills and content knowledge into the state learning standards” and that “standards in K-12 personal finance education developed by a national coalition for personal financial literacy… are adopted as the state financial education learning standards.” These provisions and adopted standards ensure that Washington students receive financial literacy instruction in K-12 curriculum.
Washington receives a “B” for developing and implementing K-12 financial literacy standards, guaranteeing instruction in each grade. However, in order to receive an “A,” Washington needs to change its requirement to offer financial literacy instruction in high school into a requirement of a stand-alone course.